|Here we languish, a bunch of poor
battered by extremes of hunger and cold.
Out of work, our
only joy is poetry:
Scribble, scribble, we wear out our brains.
will read the works of such men?
On that point you can save your
We could inscribe our poems on biscuits
And the homeless dogs
wouldn't deign to nibble
Hermits hide from mankind
Most go to the mountains to sleep
green vines wind through woods
And jade gorges echo unbroken
and higher enraptured
On and on simply free
Free of what stains the
Minds pure like the white lotus
If you are looking for a place to rest,
Cold Mountain is a good
place to stay.
The breeze flowing through the dark pines
better the closer you come.
And under the trees a white-haired
Mumbles over his Taoist texts.
Ten years now he hasn't gone
He has even forgotten the road he came by.
High on the mountain’s peak
Infinity in all directions!
solitary moon looks down
From its midnight loft
reflection in the icy pond.
Shivering, I serenade the moon.
I climb the road to Cold Mountain,
The road to Cold Mountain that
The valleys are long and strewn with stones;
broad and filled with thick grass.
Moss is slippery though no rain has
Pines sigh but it isn't the wind.
Who can break from the
snares of the world
And sit with me among the white clouds?
Have I a body or have I none?
Am I who I am or am I
Pondering these questions,
I sit leaning against the cliff as
the years go by,
Till the green grass grows between my feet
red dust settles on my head,
And the men of the world, thinking me
Come with offerings of wine and fruit to lay by my corpse.
The place where I spend my days
Is farther away than I can
Without a word the wild vines stir,
No fog, yet the bamboos
are always dark.
Who do the valleys sob for?
Why do the mists huddle
At noon, sitting in my hut
I realize for the first time
that the sun has risen.
Today I sat before the cliffs
Sat until the mist blew off
rambling clear stream shore
A towering green ridge crest
dawn shadows still
Moon's night light adrift
Body free of
Mind without a care.
People ask about Cold Mountain Way;
There's no Cold
Mountain Road that goes straight through:
By summer, lingering
cold is not dispersed,
By fog, the risen sun is screened from view;
So how did one like me get onto it?
In our hearts, I'm not the
same as you --
If in your heart you should become like me,
you can reach the center of it too.
|Among a thousand clouds and ten thousand
Here lives an idle man,
In the daytime wandering over green
At night coming home to sleep by the cliff.
springs and autumns pass,
But my mind is at peace, free from dust or
How pleasant to know I need nothing to lean on
To be still
as the waters of the autumn river!
Thirty years ago I was born into the world.
ten thousand miles I've roamed.
By rivers where the green grass grows
Beyond the border where the red sands fly.
I brewed potions
in a vain search for life everlasting,
I read books, I sang songs of
And today I've come home to Cold Mountain
To pillow my
head on the stream and wash my ears.
You have seen the blossoms among the leaves;
tell me, how long will
Today they tremble before the hand that picks them;
tomorrow they wait someone's garden broom.
Wonderful is the bright
heart of youth,
but with the years it grows old.
Is the world not
like these flowers?
Ruddy faces, how can they last?
I spur my horse past the ruined city;
the ruined city, that wakes
the traveler's thoughts:
ancient battlements, high and low;
grave mounds, great and small.
Where the shadow of a single tumbleweed
and the voice of the great trees clings forever,
over all these common bones --
No roll of the immortals bears their
When I see a fellow abusing others,
I think of a man with a
basketful of water.
As fast as he can, he runs with it home,
when he gets there, what's left in the basket?
When I see a man being
abused by others,
I think of the leek growing in the garden.
after day men pull off the leaves,
but the heart it was born with
remains the same.
Cold Cliff's remoteness
Is what I love
No one travels this
Clouds lie around on the peaks
A lone gibbon howls on the
What else do I cherish?
It's good to grow old content
and heat change my
Of my mind stays safe
Cold Mountain is a house
Without beams or walls.
The six doors
left and right are open
The hall is blue sky.
The rooms all vacant
The east wall beats on the west wall
At the center
Borrowers don't bother me
In the cold I build a little
When I'm hungry I boil up some greens.
I've got no use for
With his big barn and pasture --
He just sets up a
prison for himself.
Once in he can't get out.
Think it over --
You know it might happen to